Pour Choices

    There is no excuse whatsoever for posting this on what is, after all, NOT a Food Blog, and certainly not a blog for works of intentional fiction.  But I ran across one more picture of a soldier peeling potatoes, and was reminded of the ketchup question.

     I do NOT put ketchup on any type of fried potatoes, but I have numerous friends who would not feel they had French fries without ketchup for dipping.  Is this what led to all the dipping sauces now available for chicken tenders and such?  That’s for some FOOD blog to consider.

     But I have had only a few friends who went further and put ketchup on their fried eggs, usually eggs over easy.  Even the Interwebs seems to feel ketchup is more normal on scrambled eggs, not plain fried eggs.  But once upon a time, to steal a phrase, I was inspired by some CEO who answered an accusation about his hiring practices by saying, “I don’t care any more about what my employees do in the bedroom than I care whether they put ketchup on their fried eggs at breakfast.”  I wrote the following fairy tale.  No one published the masterpiece, for reasons which as usual are a mystery to me, but that leaves me free to slide it in here.    (Sorry the soldier and potatoes have nothing further to do with our blog.)

     In a kingdom far away there lived a beautiful princess, who was beloved by the people of her father’s kingdom except for one thing.  She put ketchup on her fried eggs at breakfast.  “Weird,” said the Queen.  “Grotesque,” said the Cook.  But she was a princess, and seemed normal otherwise, so they let her have her way.

     But this led to a problem when the time came for her to be married.  Princes and knights came from across the world to ask for her hand, but the princess was wise enough to insist that any of her suitors join her for breakfast.  On learning of her ketchup habits, many went right back home.  Others professed their undying love, but were so green in the face, this did not fool the princess at all.

     Still others insisted they ALWAYS ate ketchup on their fried eggs, and wouldn’t think of having them any other way.  The princess sent these blokes home, too.  “Suppose I change my mind,” she said.  “Sometimes I like my  eggs scrambled, with no ketchup, and sometimes I like a fried egg on my ham sandwich, and I never put ketchup on ham sandwiches.  Anyway, why should I marry a man who loves me only for my ketchup?”

     One morning, she went out to have breakfast on the south lawn, taking a frying pan and some kindling, as well as eggs and a bottle of ketchup, along with milk, bread for toasting, bacon, and other vital accessories to a nutritious breakfast.  The South Lawn was very picturesque, and bordered on a large forest, where unicorns were occasionally seen.

     The princess did not expect to see unicorns—most of these are known to be averse to ketchup and/or fried foods, but neither did she expect to see a small dragon.  It was easily fourteen times her size, and as she was picnicking alone (no one wanted to watch her put that ridiculous red stuff on her eggs again), she could only brandish her butter knife and tell the snarling, spitting beast to go home.

     “Let me help!” came a call from the forest, and a rather roadworn knight came charging out.  The dragon whipped around and knocked the knight over with its tail, whereupon the princess, remembering the bottle of hot sauce she had at the bottom of the picnic basket, ran over and began to toss this sauce across the dragon’s face.

     The dragon was startled, but hot sauce doesn’t hurt a dragon nearly as much as it would us.  But while he was facing the princess, the knight got up and, drawing his sword, poked the dragon in zseveral spots dragons do not like to be poked.  The princess, quick of mind, sprinkled the hot sauce on these sore spots, and soon the whimpering dragon scampered back into the forest.

     “Thanks for your help,” the princess told the knight.  “Would you mind joining me for breakfast?  I have bacon and eggs…and ketchup to put on the eggs.”

     “Ketchup on fried eggs?” demanded the knight.  The princess’s heart sank.  “Well, that sound interesting, Milady, but I brought my own provisions with me.”  He drew a packet out of his pocket.  “I have pickles and beer and a couple of fried egg sandwiches with mayonnaise.”

     “Mayonnaise on fried eggs?” demanded the princess, who had never heard of such a thing.  She saw the knight wince, and took his own tactic.  “That sounds interesting.  Have a seat while I light the fire.”

     So the princess and the knight had a long breakfast, with fresh fried eggs and ketchup, cold fried egg sandwiches with mayonnaise, and milk and beer and pickles and bacon and each realized they had found an interesting companion as well as a new taste sensation.

     So they were married, and lived happily ever after.  And how they had their eggs in the happy everafter is no more any of your business than it is of mine.

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